The top NewsCut posts of 2017

Unless something blog shattering happens, it’s safe today to reveal the top posts on NewsCut in 2017 as measured by site traffic.

There’s no real significance to the list, of course. Traffic is enhanced or depressed by any number of factors, mostly involving who picks up and amplifies a post. This year was no exception.

For the most part, it was a decent 2017 in the NewsCut cubicle. Last week, we surpassed the previous record — last year’s — for visitor traffic, the coin of the blogging realm.

#10 Hospitalized Army vet puts ad in paper asking for letters
In February, James Wiitamaki was lonely and dying. He was in the VA hospital in St. Cloud, Minn., and he took out an ad in the paper asking people to send him letters. His family didn’t know he was placing the ad. People sent letters, and others visited. He died on March 1 at the VA hospital.

#9 Racism and Southwest light rail in Hopkins
Too many posts on NewsCut this year were about the intersection of racism and politics. In Hopkins, Bob Ivers never really had a chance to be elected mayor, but he got his moment to be remembered during a candidate forum declaring if SW LRT is built, the “riff-raff that’s moved into ‘Welfare-apolis,’ they’re going to get on that train. And you know where they’re going to end up? They’re going to end up down at the depot.”

#8 Olympic gymnast describes abuse
The stories being told as part of the #MeToo hashtag have been gut wrenching and should be an embarrassment to any man. U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney’s, in particular, was horrifying when she posted it on Twitter. She also provided a road map for how to stop it. Earlier this month she wrote a letter to the judge prior to the sentencing of the team doctor. She said after his abuse, she was suicidal. She has since deleted her Twitter account.

#7 After Orono murder-suicide, a push to change custody laws
Few things get blog commenters stirred up like proposals to change Minnesota custody laws. Jude Nicolas Sandberg was killed by his mother in a murder-suicide in September. She had apparently been feuding with her ex-husband since a two-day custody battle in 2015. In the wake of his death, his family is vowing to seek changes to Minnesota custody laws.

#6 A Minnesota child dies by suicide
This post could have been written in any week of the year, but it was about Colin Morrissey, who was just 14 years old when he took his own life in April. He “took his life in a bad moment in time” his obituary said. “There is no room for whys, blame, or regrets; just random acts of Colin (silliness and love). We must all go forward and live,” his family said.

#5 A friend of a woman who took her life stands up to David Sedaris
Every year there’s always one old post that makes it into the top 10 for reasons that are unclear. Last year it was the old Internet myth that President Obama had invited another Pearl Harbor by assembling five aircraft carriers in the harbor at Virginia Beach. This year it’s this 2013 letter to a Massachusetts newspaper (the link no longer works, of course) that served as a rebuttal to a New Yorker article David Sedaris had written about his sister Tiffany’s death and life.

#4 NPR’s tweets expose a thin grasp of American history
There’s really no way around it. Americans are simply not very smart when it comes to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the principles upon which democracy was founded. On July Fourth — shouldn’t that have been a hint? — NPR issued a series of tweets that people called “trash” and said the liberal nonsense was a good reason to defund the network. It was the Declaration of Independence.

#3 United passenger dragged off overbooked flight
David Dao became the poster man for the drudgery of flying the nation’s airlines when he was forcibly pulled off a flight, only to run back onto the plane bloodied. It sparked a series of similar stories in the subsequent weeks before the nation moved on to other things. Or maybe people are finding nothing but joy in the skies since then. But video of Dao is just as heartbreaking and infuriating now as it was in April.

#2 Take infants to the wilderness, couple says. Here’s why
Maura and Bobby Marko are the type of parents who can make you think you raised your kids wrong, I wrote in July when the Twin Cities couple was planning a camping, cycling, hiking, and canoing trip in the north country with a 3-year-old and a 9-month-old. Nothing brings out the parental judges like stories of how other people are raising their kids. But this was easily one of my favorite posts of the year

#1 Few hurt feelings after 98-0 football rout
I’m not a fan of the Drudge Report in the least so I would have been just fine without the more than 100,000 page views it sent NewsCut’s way because of St. Scholastica’s 98-to-0 football loss to St. John’s University. I’m not entirely sure what Drudge’s fascination with the post was, but it probably involved participation trophies. St. Scholastica ended up just fine, by the way. After the opener, they ripped off seven wins in a row and finished the season 7-and-3.

There were better candidates, in my opinion. I would have gone with the story of the family of the NFL player who got to hear their dead son’s heart beating inside Rod Carew, for example. But NewsCut acknowledges the will of the people.

  • Jeff C.

    What stories received the most comments?

    • I’m not sure I have any way of knowing the answer to that. Might be Keillor.

    • Barton

      I was wondering the same thing. It’s too bad that isn’t a stat (I assume) that the webmasters (I assume that is who set up the tracking) considered important to track.

      • We use google analytics. It’s not an important statistic for me. 60 comments from one person, for example is far different from 60 comments from 60 people. It just doesn’t tell you much.

        • John

          and then there are the pun threads. . . which add . . . something? I wouldn’t call it value, but I love every one of em.

          Of course, they’re basically Dad jokes, and being a Dad, it stands to reason.

  • Gary F

    Emmitt and Erling have my vote.

    • That was 2015 and 2016

      • Gary F

        Didn’t he die this year?

        • Gary F

          My bad, how time flies.

  • MrE85

    Number of times MrE85 wore the Bag of Shame in 2017: 3. I’ll resove to wear it less in the New Year.

    • Why the “Bag of shame”?

      • MrE85

        As hard as it may be to believe (wink), sometimes I’m wrong, make false assumptions, and comment before opening the link. My “Bag of Shame” image gets used more than it should.

        • Ah, yes. Very good. you are one of the few who admits mistakes.

          /i do as well…but don’t have a bag

          • Bob Sinclair

            I thought it was a hockey helmet. 🙂

  • Barton

    I somehow feel the #1 should be disallowed simply because the traffic came from a national source (Drudge Report). And really, since you aren’t a fan, Bob, I’d say you’d have the right to disqualify it just for your own view of it. Maybe then Rod Carew’s story would make it…..

    • Gary F

      Drudge just finds news stories that the other national sources don’t run. Drudge was just re-posting the Pioneer Press, is that a bad source? 99% of what Drudge runs is just links from other news/political sites, sometimes more local, like the Pioneer Press, or European sources, like the Guardian. What Drudge is good at, is finding stories that the gate keepers of news, the editors, choose not to run in their paper or news show.

      • I think I worked overtime moderating comments with their link. From the quality of their input, Drudge’s audience would appear to have the insight of your typical YouTube commenter. Not impressed.

      • BJ

        >Drudge just finds news stories that the other national sources don’t run.

        >99% of what Drudge runs is just links from other news/political sites, sometimes more local, like the Pioneer Press, or European sources, like the Guardian.

        >What Drudge is good at, is finding stories that the gate keepers of news, the editors, choose not to run in their paper or news show.

        That’s some cognitive dissonance.

        They ‘find’ stories, that other papers and news sources have ran, and republish them. They got published by others so ‘other national sources don’t run’ is just plainly not true. Same with the third quote, ‘ gate keepers of news, the editors, choose not to run in their paper or news show’ again since drudge is republishing them they did get past gate keepers, editor and did get produced.

    • I’d have to get rid of #, then, because NPR sent a lot of people its way. Like I said, traffic is dependent on many things. Sometimes the MPR social media people in the newsroom will post a NewsCut post. It has the same effect.

  • Wow, what an honor to make #2! Thanks again for chatting with us, Bob!

  • Bob Sinclair

    And here I thought you weren’t a big fan of end-of-the-year or top ten lists.